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Need help to select accommodation and itinerary

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Singapore, Singapore
posts: 104
reviews: 5
Need help to select accommodation and itinerary

Hi all

I am planning to visit Melbourne in 1st week of June. As I never been to Australia, I will need help to select good and cheap hotel accommodation in Melbourne. My budget is less then A$200 a night. Also I am thinking of renting a car and driving to the hotel from airport. Any idea will the hotel charge for hotel guest parking?

I have heard abt the GOR, is it do-able by me driving to and fro on my own? Also there are factory outlets in Melbourne any idea where are they located?

Thanks...

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 38
reviews: 2
21. Re: Need help to select accommodation and itinerary

Hi Robin

Just wanted to say that Puffing Billy is great and so is Healesville Sanctuary. I was just there last week and even as an adult i love Puffing Billy. The ride was so enjoyable...with people waving at you (even getting out of their cars to wave at you! a simple gesture but so....heartwarming) and i dont really know how to describe it but it made me.....-happy-...(like your first time in Disneyland) and the fact that it is ran by volunteers made it all the more worthwhile. Puffing Billy was the highlight of my trip.....and the strawberry farm.....and the apostles (hehe..fickle much?). no no, really, do it....take the time to just relax and enjoy the ride. pack a picnic basket and have lunch at lakeside whilst waiting for the return train. U know when u always tend to rush during holidays to cover grounds? being in puffing billy made us all restful.... healesville is landscaped similar to our zoo...open concept enclosures...while most of the animals can be found in our zoo...there is one that u cannot see in Singapore. Behold the Platypus! That was the highlight of my healesville excursion. If u decide to do puffing billy, then do make the trip to healesville since its nearby. Some thoughts. Enjoy Victoria.....

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 104
reviews: 5
22. Re: Need help to select accommodation and itinerary

Hi ellen

thanks for pointing out that 25th is a Anzac day. I just check with Hertz and they are open as usual.

as for day trips to Phillip Island, Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula etc, will it be more convenient to do it by car or taking the local transport? or by local tour?

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 104
reviews: 5
23. Re: Need help to select accommodation and itinerary

hi HuUUuH

for puffing billy, is it more convenient to travel from Melbourne city by my rental car (day trip) or after enjoying puffing billy, stay over ard that area? and u mention Healesville Sanctuary, is it do-able within the same day puffing billy? How shld I go abt organising my trip to puffing bill and healesville? where to stay?

still a little confuse on my itinerary. below is a summary:

19 Apr: arrive at Melbourne at night and stay for 2 nights.

20 Apr: explore Melbourne city.

21 Apr: collect rental car and leave for Apollo bay and stay over night there.

22 Apr: leave for warnambool and stay overnight there and visit the 12 apostles along the way passing port Campbell.

23 Apr: return back to Melbourne or stay over at geelong and continue my trip to phillip island the next day? if I stay at geelong than no need to pay for parking as most hotels offer free parking I suppose. or return the rental car as not to incur parking charges and collect back again the next morning to travel to phillip island? o

or worst scenario, drive from warnambool direct to phillip island via geelong for lunch break?

24 Apr: Drive to phillip island. should I stay a night here as my concern is after the penguin parade it is quite late to drive back to Melbourne and driving back to Melbourne and parking at the hotel will incur charges.

25 Apr: return back to Melbourne and return rental car.

26-28 Apr: explore Melbourne city and some shopping. is there any factory outlets at Melbourne?

where can I slot in puffing billy, healesville, yarra valley? etc am I over-doing? I have booked my air tixs but yet to book my hotels as I cannot decide the journey after warnambool.

thanks...

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 38
reviews: 2
24. Re: Need help to select accommodation and itinerary

Hi Robin

A DE i am not = ) ..... but i prob would do the following:

23 Apr: i thinks its better to not drive to Phillip Island from Warnambool as it seems like a loooog drive. If parking is your concern, then i suppose Geelong could be an option if the accomodation offers free parking. My overnight parking at Novotel On Collins was $27. If u do not mind paying about $27 for an overnight parking, then driving further to Melbourne would be better as it gives u some head start for the next day. I will not return the car rental as it will be a hassle. Driving in CBD is pretty much easy. The hook turns aren't that bad (we viewed in you-tube on how to do it LOL!) and we were so excited when we did our first hook turn.

24 Apr: if it was me, i would stay overnight at Phillip Island - just because i will not be comfy driving at night in a foreign land plus i would think that you'll be tired and its cold.....u just wanna get to room and make yourself a nice cup of tea.

25 Apr:u have to prob decide on your priorities. If its shopping, well u have to head back to Melbourne but if u wanna explore beautiful Victoria then you could spend the next 2 days at Mt Dandenong where you can do Puffing Billy, Healesville, Yarra Valley. If you do decide on Mt Dandenong, you could do:

25 Apr: check out from Phillip Island Hotel. Drive to Healesville Sanctuary, Drive to a vineyard (i dunno which one though), the choc factory? You could stay at one of the B&Bs in yarra valley or stay up in the mountains of Mt Dandenong (i stayed in Olinda, a small quaint town)

26 Apr: Puffing Billy at 1030am to Lakeside. A return trip will take a total of 3 hours so your time will be up until 130pm. U could stay another night or return back to Melbourne for your shopping.

Your itinerary is pretty similar to mine ( well i didnt go further than the apostles and i chose Mt Dandenong (Puffing Billy & Healesville) instead of the penguins only becos i wasnt sure if my kids could be quiet and still whilst waiting for the penguins and i read that the period that i was in Mel, it was the moulting period (mar to apr) where an average of only 400-500 penguins come back as opposed to up to a 1000 during Dec,Nov.

Whatever u decide on, do have fun but please dont rush around trying to cover as much ground as you can. Take time to smell the roses......Good luck in your planning!

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 104
reviews: 5
25. Re: Need help to select accommodation and itinerary

thanks for ur detailed replied.

I am still playing ard my choices for 25 apr till 28 apr. dunno if I should skip phillip island and head straight to Mt Dandenong. Any idea which town will be nice to stay? any recommendations and which hotel u stay when u r there?

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 38
reviews: 2
26. Re: Need help to select accommodation and itinerary

Hi Robin

You could try Sassafras or Olinda. I stayed at Olinda, its higher up the mountains than Sassafras. Both towns looked equally good to me. I stayed at the Loft in the Mill and booked rooms with private courtyard. The place is beautiful. Loft in the mill is just across the road from shops, restaurants & its convenient. If u plan on doing puffing billy, then staying at Mt Dandenong will be convenient as Belgrave ( the start of PB) is just minutes away (10 mins) by car. Tips for PB: arrive early, at least by 10am fir the 1030 train. When choosing the car, look for cars that doesnt have markings of tour groups (eg: AAT, Greyline) on the doors. We had a car with the markings and were asked to change cars halfway as this is where the tour groups joined PB. Usually the last few cars are reserved for Tour groups. Try to get seats that's facing the platform.... These are the ones that gets snapped up first. Hope this helps Robin.

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 38
reviews: 2
27. Re: Need help to select accommodation and itinerary

U can still fit Phillip I think. U can have 1.5 days ( overnight) where from Geelong or Melbourne you drive to Healesville Sanctuary, then explore vineyard or farms, stay overnight at Olinda/Sassafras. Check out next day, do PB..... Then drive to PI and overnight? It'll be tiring but its an option. Fom PI, drive to Melbourne and spend the last leg of your trip there. Toggle Mt Dandenong, PI & city around & see what works for you. If u want to have a restful last leg of the trip, maybe you can do your shopping first? (City-GOR-City-PI-Mt D-Airport).

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 104
reviews: 5
28. Re: Need help to select accommodation and itinerary

Hi

Thanks for the advice. I have just completed my hotels booking today.

HuUUuH,

Coincidentally I also book the loft in the mill and got the only room left which is the calico suite. Wanted to book Hathaway or King Arthur suite but already book during my stay there. Did u go to sky high restaurant to have dinner? Thought of doing dinner there and enjoy the limo service and the view.

Anyway I have finalize my itinerary.

19-21 Apr: Arrive Melbourne at 1915hrs and take skybus to hotel.

21-22 Apr: collect rental car upon chevk out and travel to Apollo bay for overnight stay.

22-23 Apr: visit 12 apostles enroute to Warrnambool for overnight stay.

23-25 Apr: travel from warrnambool to mt dandenong. plan to do puffing billy, healesville sanctuary and yarra valley.

(I will probably arrive loft in the mill abt 3pm as I will be driving from Warrnambool. I plan to relax and go to sky high for dinner. Next day on 24, I will do PB at 1030am, than go to healesville sanctuary. Possible to visit yarra valley? Wat to visit at yarra valley, any recommendation? Or if I do PB on 25, than travel back to Melbourne and return the car by 1700hrs. possible to reach Melbourne to check in and to return car before 1700hrs?)

25-28 Apr: Melbourne city. Might do day trip to Phillip island. Will it be more convenient to self drive to PI or take the public transport or join the local 1 day tour?

Thanks!!

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Melbourne, Victoria, Road Trips
posts: 4,271
reviews: 12
29. Re: Need help to select accommodation and itinerary

Phillip Island isn't possible as a one day tour using public transport as it's too hard to get around down there & if you want to see the penguins, you need to stay overnight as there are only a couple of buses a day going to Melbourne. Renting a car is fine, but once again, it you want to see the penguins, you will get back to Melbourne too late to return the car, so you will be keeping it overnight. What do you want to do & see on Phillip Island?

Likewise, what to you want to do & see at the Yarra Valley? It is a large area & you will drive through it going to Healesville. If you want to stop at a winery, use google to see which ones interest you & check opening hours. I don't think you will have time to stop though, PB & Healesville will take up most of your day. Be aware that we have strict drink driving laws, so if you want to do some wine tasting, the driver needs to not taste much.

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 104
reviews: 5
30. Re: Need help to select accommodation and itinerary

hi ellen

thanks for your reply.

Phillip Island is just my options if I can squeeze more time in and finish Melbourne walk around and shopping (my wife love to shop so need to provide 1-2 days for her).

Any nice winery to recommend at Yarra Valley? I have not been to any winery, what do people do there other than wine tasting? Also other than winery at yarra valley, what other sights can I visit? Since I have 3 places to visit at mt dandenong, can I arrange at this sequence?

23 Apr: Arrive from Warranambool. Likely to check in at The loft in The Mill abt 3pm with stopover lunch at Geelong. Dinner at Sky High Restaurant.

24 Apr: Do PB at 1030am and return to belgrave station at 130pm. Proceed to Healesville sanctuary.

25 Apr: Visit Yarra Valley if time permits. If not will return to Melbourne to return car and check in hotel.

Thank you...